With a pair of games postponed the previous day, the Padres system was busy on Saturday night, with the Missions and Storm playing a pair of doubleheaders, meaning there were six games across four levels.
Chihuahuas 8 – Las Vegas 51s 3
Key Statistics: CF Franchy Cordero 2-4, HR (1), BB, 2 K; SS Luis Urías 2-3, 2 BB; RF Franmil Reyes 2-3, HR (1), 2 R, 2 BB; 1B Brett Nicholas 3-5, HR (1), 3 R; 2B Javy Guerra 2-4, HR (2), 2 RBI; RHP Brett Kennedy 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 4 K.
Prospect Watch: Franchy Cordero made his presence known in his second rehab game for the Chihuahuas, as he belted one of four El Paso homers on the night. He also struck out twice. After he posted a 28% K rate in Triple-A last year (to go along with the 44% K rate in his short major league stint), his strikeout numbers will be worth monitoring if he wants to get another crack in San Diego… Luis Urías has singled in all three of the Chihuahuas games to start the season, to go along with four walks and one strikeout. He is still waiting for his first extra-base hit… Closer Trey Wingenter, who was roughed up in a few Spring Training outings, allowed a solo homer in his inning of work, along with a pair of punch outs.
Chihuahuas Notes: With a 20 MPH wind blowing straight out to center on a warm Las Vegas night, it wasn’t surprising to see the offensive pyrotechnics from Cordero, Franmil Reyes, Javy Guerra, and newcomer Brett Nicholas. More impressive was Chihuahuas starter Brett Kennedy’s ability to keep the ball in the yard. Known more for his control and mindset than his stuff, he kept the 51s in check, allowing just four hits, including a double, and needed just 88 pitches to get through six innings. The Fordham grad also added a single and an RBI of his own at the plate. With the quality of San Diego’s rotation depth in question, Kennedy could be an interesting sleeper pick to nab a spot start or two at Petco Park this year.
Missions 6 – Arkansas Travelers 2 (Game 1)
Key Statistics: LF Josh Naylor 2-3, 2 HR (2), 4 RBI, BB; 1-4; CF Michael Gettys 2-3, 3 RBI, 1 K, SB; SS Fernando Tatis Jr. 0-4, 1 K; C Austin Allen 1-4, 2B; LHP Matt Strahm 2.0 IP, 1 ER, BB, 6 K; Miguel Diaz (W, 1-0) 2.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 5 K.
Prospect Watch: With Kyle Overstreet making the start at first base, left fielder Josh Naylor had himself a big game, crushing a pair of no-doubt homers to provide all the offense the Missions would need… Matt Strahm overcame a rocky start (the first three hitters went homer-walk-single) to retire six of the last seven hitters via strikeout, and looked very poised, working both sides of the plate… Miguel Diaz looked sharp in his first two innings, before having control issues and walking his last two batters in the fifth inning.
Missions Notes: Strahm was set to throw 50 pitches or three innings, and ended up throwing 47 pitches in his outing today. He is being stretched out to audition for a starting job in San Diego. In the first start of his minor league career in left field, Naylor had the ball hit to him just once, on a single that he played cleanly.
Missions 5 – Arkansas Travelers 3 (Game 2)
Key Statistics: 1B Josh Naylor 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI; C Austin Allen 1-4, HR (2); Fernando Tatis Jr. 0-4; Logan Allen (W, 1-0) 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 4 BB, 6 K.
Prospect Watch: Logan Allen had gone 39 straight outings without allowing more than three walks, but saw that streak snapped on Saturday night. He pitched around them with minimal damage and was able to retire the last eight batters he faced… Game time temperature was 40 degrees in Little Rock, but Canadian Josh Naylor seemed unphased, finishing the night with seven RBI… Padres top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. went hitless in his third consecutive game.
Missions Notes: With the game well in hand in the seventh, Missions manager Phillip Wellman turned the ball over to reliever Brad Wieck with a 5-1 lead. The 26-year-old lefty, who is on the Padres 40-Man Roster, allowed three singles to load the bases before a runner scored on a grounder to first with Wieck covering, who then committed an error on the throw home, allowing another run to score. On Opening Day, the six-foot-nine lefty was tagged with the loss after allowing a pair of runs on two hits and a wild pitch.
Stockton Ports 2 – Storm 0 (Game 1)
Key Statistics: LHP Adrian Morejon (L, 0-1) 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K; RHP Austin Smith 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K; DH Jorge Oña 1-3, 2B, 2 K; RF Edward Olivares 0-2, BB; 3B Hudson Potts 0-3, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The main attraction here was one of the top left-handed pitching prospects in the game, Adrian Morejon. On a cold night in northern California, the 19-year-old Cuban looked sharp early, only faltering in the fourth inning after walking a pair of batters and allowing an HBP. It looked like he might escape after an early double play ball, but an attempted steal and a throwing error set up the only earned run that Morejon would allow. Seven out of the nine Ports starters were left-handed batters… Austin Smith, who carries the distinction of being A.J. Preller’s first draft pick with the Padres (51st overall in 2015), had a tough 2017 in Fort Wayne, but showed improved control in his High-A debut after posting a 5.0 BB/9 in Single-A last year… Edward Olivares had a nice running catch in right to show that he could cover some serious ground.
Storm Notes: The Ports starter was Brian Howard, an 8th Round pick out of TCU in last July’s draft. The six-foot-nine righty allowed just one hit (a single to 1B Brad Zunica) to go along with a walk and five strikeouts. After walking Olivares to lead off the game, he retired the next 13 Storm hitters he faced.
It was a rough outing for Luis Torrens. The Rule 5 draftee who spent all of 2017 with the Padres after never having competed above Single-A, had a passed ball that allowed the Ports’ first run to score, and his throwing error put the runner in scoring position for run number two.
Stockton Ports 2 – Storm 1 (Game 2)
Key Statistics: RHP Reggie Lawson 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 5 K; 3B Hudson Potts 2-2, 2 2B; CF Edward Olivares 0-3, 1 RBI; RF Jorge Oña 0-3, 1 K.
Prospect Watch: 3B Hudson Potts had his second and third doubles of the young season, though they both came with the bases empty… In his Cal League debut, Reggie Lawson impressed, inducing mostly weak contact, save a pair of extra-base hits in the fourth inning. Of his 17 appearances in Fort Wayne last season, there were only two in which he went five or more innings without a walk, which he did last night. While he can certainly miss bats (11.0 K/9 last year), limiting free passes (4.3 BB/9 last year) will be key in his progression. He threw 79 pitches (57 strikes) in five innings, one of the more efficient outings in among the system.
Storm Notes: Reliever Gerardo Reyes started the sixth for Lake Elsinore after Reggie Lawson was removed, and he ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and a runner on via a walk, Reyes intentionally walked Ports leadoff man Kevin Merrell (no.15 prospect in Oakland’s system per MLB Pipeline), then hit the next batter. With the bases loaded and two outs in a tie game, Storm manager Edwin Rodriguez brought in reliever Blake Rogers, who issued a four-pitch walk to force in the winning run.
Ports starter Parker Dunshee, a 7th round pick out of Wake Forest last July, set a personal best with ten strikeouts in his fourteenth professional outing.
Lake County Captains 9 – TinCaps 3
Key Statistics: SS Gabriel Arias 2-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB; C Luis Campusano 1-4, 2B, RBI; RHP Mason Thompson (L, 0-1) 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 5 K.
Prospect Watch: A day after having their game in the Cleveland suburb of Eastlake postponed due to a “wintry mix,” the game time temperature of 38 degrees for the home opener didn’t help the TinCaps bats heat up much. Tirso Ornelas, Jeisson Rosario, and Esteury Ruiz combined to go 0-11 with seven strikeouts. Ornelas wore the Golden Sombrero, though he also reached base with a walk… Mason Thompson, who made seven starts for Fort Wayne last year, was a victim of bad luck, as a combination of infield singles, a wild pitch, and shoddy defense (errors by himself and the usually surehanded Gabriel Arias) led to a 5-1 deficit after three innings. The four walks issued and extra outs granted by the defense didn’t help his pitch count, which was 76 (38 were strikes, and even 50%) when he was pulled with two on and one out in the third.
TinCaps Notes: With the un-baseball-like temperatures, it’d be reasonable to assume a low-scoring affair, and that the pitcher would hold the advantage, but Lake County had no problems putting the ball in play. If anything, it seemed to put stress on the TinCaps defense, as Arias recorded his second error of the season, along with firsts by Thompson and 3B Reinaldo Ilarraza.
For the box scores of all the Padres’ affiliates games please go to the MiLB.com scoreboards.